I am senior lecturer at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.
I work on coupled thermo-hydro-(electro-)mechanical and chemical process in the earth. My goal is a consistent physical description of coupled processes from pore scale to its macroscopic application.
The outcome of my research benefits our understanding of geothermal systems, hot springs, natural hydrothermal systems, groundwater recharge and natural hazards.


EcoFrac: Fracking Free Enhanced geothermal systems using environmental friendly natural products (2020 - 2022)
Natural conditions currently hinder the successful exploitation of geothermal energy in European low-temperature rock formations, even if this energy production is most environmental friendly, CO2-neutral, and continuously available. Geotechnical engineering to overcome these barriers, such as fracking, is emotionally discussed and has no legal acceptance. This hinders the widespread use of geothermics as an energy source. A new and green approach by regulating the macroscopic variable of outflow temperature through chemical modification of the flow regime by adding natural compounds to the circulating fluid will be examined in this project using laboratory tests as well as numerical models. The goal of this project is to increase heat transfer efficiency and to slow down efficiency loss of enhanced geothermal systems.
Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany - Applied Geology / Hydrogeology. Funded by Volkswagen Foundation.

Heat transfer between fluid and rough walled fractures (2019 - 2022)
This project aims at a physical model of heat transfer in fractures including microscopic fracture surface morphology. Fracture aperture, surface roughness, and contact area significantly influence not only fluid flow but also heat transfer. Furthermore, temperature affects fluid properties and stress, which again depends on temperature and fluid pressure, affects the fracture surface morphology. Therefore, a suitable heat transfer model needs to incorporate hydraulic and mechanical processes, resulting in a fully coupled thermo-hydraulic-mechanical model. Recent laboratory experiments permit a study of these processes in an accuracy unknown up until now and enable an in-depth comparison with theoretical and numerical models.
Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany - Applied Geology / Hydrogeology. Funded by German Research Association.

Local thermal non-equilibrium conditions in frozen soils and snow (2018 - 2019)
Water infiltration into frozen soil is a complex process with great relevance for a broad range of applications, such as flooding but also microbiological activity. Rain on snow events can either accelerate snow melting and cause floods, or increase the snow load and possible facilitate avalanches. In both cases, the solid medium (soil or snow) is initially in a different thermal state (sub-zero Celsius) than the liquid water. Without a local thermal equilibrium, heat transfer between the phases (soil/snow, air, liquid water and ice) needs to be calculated explicitly. Varying total water content and phase transition between liquid and frozen state require new concepts to describe the thermal and hydraulic dynamics. Melting of the snow and preferential flow further increase the complexity of the model.
Czech University of Life Sciences - Water Resources and Environmental Modeling. Funded by European Union, managing authority the Czech Operational Program Research, Development and Education.

Coupled hydro-electro-mechanical processes in landslides (2015 - 2018)
Increasing pore pressure might cause slope failure, like landslides after heavy rainfall or dam breaking after intrusion of sea water. Water content and water flow can be monitored using geophysical methods such as electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and self-potential (SP) measurements. This projects aimed at the development of an early-warning system for landslides combining measurements with advanced numerical modeling. During the project time, the system was installed and validated at a test site close to Bonn (Germany). Interpretation and data analysis of the geophysical data set was improved through joint inversion of ERT and refraction seismic data. Laboratory tests and numerical simulations were performed to improve the understanding of the coupled hydro-electro-mechanical processes observed using the SP data.
University of Bonn, Germany - Geophysics. Funded by BMBF.

Development and Application of coupled THM solvers to estimate rock failure events from laboratory to field scale (2012-2014)
The project aimed at the development of a consistent physical and numerical model to be applied on laboratory and field scale to study the physics of rock failure at high pore pressure. Realistic damage mechanics, so a description of the degradation of elastic properties, is especially important if the rock is subjected to repeated pore pressure changes. Reoccurring, fluid-driven earthquake swarms and stimulation of geothermal fields during hydrofracturing are examples for this. In laboratory tests, acoustic emissions (AE) contain important information at a very local scale. A straightforward mechanism to obtain a proxy for AEs during a fully coupled poro-elasto-plastic numerical simulation was adapted, which agrees well with laboratory measurements and has been successfully extended to field scale for detecting and localizing earthquakes, as shown for the 2008 earthquake swarm in West-Bohemia (Czech Republic).
Master and Doctoral studies. University of Bonn, Germany - Geodynamics. Funded by DFG and VolkswagenStiftung.


Early on during my academic career I had the chance to gain important experience in teaching class room lectures, seminars and field excursions. Due to my background in physics, I set a high value on a solid physical and mathematical base to build on. In the graduate courses, I try to advance towards the state of the art in science to train students in critical discussions of hypotheses and to challenge results.

• Flow and transport in urban groundwater systems
  (IGSH, Ruhr-University Bochum, 2021)
• Basics of heat transport
  (IGSH, Ruhr-University Bochum, 2020)
• Groundwater modeling in rural areas
  (IGSH, Ruhr-University Bochum, 2019)
• Non-Equilibrium Heat Transfer between Phases in Fractured Porous Media
  (CZU Prague, Czech Republic, 2019)
• Advective heat transport in porous media and fracture networks – same same but different?
  (University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, 2016)
My lectures at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany (2019 - )
• Groundwater Hydraulics (WS 2019, WS2020, WS2021)
• Hydraulic Groundwater Modeling (WS 2019, SS2021, WS2021)
• Field Course Hydrogeology (SS2021)
• Methoden im Gelände - Vermessung und Erzeugung von Grundwasserplänen (SS2021)
• Geländeübungen zur Angewandten Geologie (SS2021)
My lectures at the University of Bonn, Germany (2014 - 2019)
• Physics of Two Phase Mass Flows (SS 2018, SS 2019)
• Introduction to Geophysical Mass Flows (WS 2016, WS 2017)
• Geophysical Research Seminar (SS 2017)
• Applied Hydrogeophysics (SS 2016)
• Geodynamics / Tectonophysics (SS 2014)
• Einführung in die Geophysik (WS 2012, WS2013, WS2014)


Physical and numerical model development are my main scientific methods. Therefore, software development and programming is a crucial part of my daily work. Building upon my experience as a professional software developer, I try to apply high programming standards, technologies and tools whenever possible. This includes, besides others, coding and development guidelines, code documentation, version control and automatic testing on various levels, to allow other researchers access to the code by the FAIR principle (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable und Reusable). Most of my own code is written in Fortran, Matlab or Python but I also apply C++ or other programming and script languages whenever necessary. High performance computing on small and intermediate computer clusters is realized by parallelization techniques.

About Me

Work Experience
Since 08/2021Senior Lecturer, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
05/2019 - 07/2021Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
09/2018 - 03/2019Postdoctoral Research Fellow, CZU Prague, Czech Republic
06/2015 - 08/2018Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Bonn, Germany
01/2015 - 06/2015Software Developer, tms mbH Bonn, Germany
01/2015 - 06/2015Research Associate, University of Bonn, Germany
Academic Career
12/2012 - 06/2015Doctoral studies Geophysics/Geodynamics, University of Bonn, Germany
10/2010 - 09/2012Master of Science, Physics of Earth and Atmosphere, University of Bonn, Germany
10/2007 - 09/2010Bachelor of Science, Physics, RWTH Aachen, Germany
Academic Achievements
08/2020Higher Education Teaching Grant, European Geophysical Union
10/2019Member of the Global Young Faculty VI, Mercator Foundation
08/2019Awarded for Blended Learning concept, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
08/2018DAAD funded workshop tour
Since 2014Reviewer for Water Resources Research, Geothermics, JGR:Solid Earth, Applied Thermal Engineering, IJRMMS, Tectonophysics, RMRE, IJHMT and others


Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Baselt, I., Heinze, T. (2021). Rain, Snow and Frozen Soil: Open Questions from a Porescale Perspective with Implications for Geohazards. Geosciences, 11(9), 375. doi: 10.3390/geosciences11090375
  • Heinze, T. (2021). Constraining the heat transfer coefficient of rock fractures. Renewable Energy, 177, 433-447. doi: 10.1016/j.renene.2021.05.089
  • Frank, S., Zuber, P., Pollak, S., Heinze, T., Schreuer, J., Wohnlich, S. (2021). A High-Pressure High-Temperature Column for the Simulation of Hydrothermal Water Circulation at Laboratory Scale. Geotechnical Testing Journal, 44. doi: 10.1520/GTJ20200020
  • Moradi, S., Heinze, T., Budler, J., Gunatilake, T., Kemna, A., Huismann, J.A. (2021). Combining Site Characterization, Monitoring and Hydromechanical Modeling for Assessing Slope Stability. Land 10(4), 423. doi: 10.3390/land10040423
  • Heinze, T., Frank, S., Wohnlich, S. (2021). FSAT – A fracture surface analysis toolbox in MATLAB to compare 2D and 3D surface measures. Computers and Geotechnics, 132, 103997. doi: 10.1016/j.compgeo.2020.103997
  • Frank, S., Heinze, T., Pollak, S., Wohnlich, S. (2021). Transient heat transfer processes in a single rock fracture at high flow rates. Geothermics, 89, 101989. doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2020.101989
  • Frank, S., Heinze, T., Ribbers, M., Wohnlich, S. (2020). Experimental Reproducibility and Natural Variability of Hydraulic Transport Properties of Fractured Sandstone Samples. Geosciences, 10, 458. doi: 10.3390/geosciences10110458
  • Frank, S., Heinze, T., Wohnlich, S. (2020). Comparison of Surface Roughness and Transport Processes of Sawed, Split and Natural Sandstone Fractures. Water, 12(9), 2530. doi: 10.3390/w12092530
  • Heinze, T. (2020). A highly flexible laboratory setup to demonstrate granular flow characteristics. Natural Hazards, 104, 1581-1596. doi: 10.1007/s11069-020-04234-y
  • Heinze, T. (2020). Possible effect of flow velocity on thawing rock-water-ice systems under local thermal non-equilibrium conditions. Cold Region Science and Technology, 170, 102940. doi: 10.1016/j.coldregions.2019.102940
  • Heinze, T., & Bloecher, J. (2019). A model of local thermal non-equilibrium during infiltration. Advances in Water Resources, 132, 103394. doi: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2019.103394
  • Hamidi, S., Heinze, T., Galvan, B., & Miller, S.A. (2019). Numerical study of asymmetric vertical fluid intrusion in deep reservoirs: effects of stress, temperature and salinity. Tectonophysics, 750, 280-288. doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2018.11.01
  • Hamidi, S., Heinze, T., Galvan, B., & Miller, S.A. (2019). Critical review of the local thermal equilibrium assumption in heterogeneous porous media: dependence on permeability and porosity contrasts. Applied Thermal Engineering, 147, pp. 962–971. doi: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2018.10.130
  • Heinze, T., Limbrock, J.K., Pudasaini, S.P., & Kemna, A. (2019). Relating mass movement with electrical self-potential signals. Geophysical Journal International, 216(1), pp. 55–60. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggy418
  • Heinze, T., & Hamidi, S. (2017). Heat transfer and parameterization in local thermal non-equilibrium for dual porosity continua. Applied Thermal Engineering, 114, pp. 645–652. doi: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2016.12.015
  • Heinze, T., Hamidi, S., & Galvan, B. (2017). A dynamic heat transfer coefficient between fractured rock and flowing fluid. Geothermics, 65, 10–16. doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2016.08.007
  • Heinze, T., Hamidi, S., Galvan, B., & Miller, S.A. (2017). Numerical simulation of the 2008 West-Bohemian earthquake swarm. Tectonophysics, 694, 436–443. doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.11.028
  • Heinze, T., Jansen, G., Galvan, B., & Miller, S.A. (2016). Systematic study of the effects of mass and time scaling techniques applied in numerical rock mechanics simulations. Tectonophysics, 684, pp. 4–11. doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2015.10.013
  • Heinze, T., & Galvan, B. (2016). Novel numerical strategy for solving strongly coupled elastoplastic damage models with explicit return algorithms: Application to geomaterials. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 80, pp. 64–72. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2015.10.023
  • Heinze, T., Galvan, B., & Miller, S.A. (2015). A new method to estimate location and slip of simulated rock failure events. Tectonophysics, 651, 35–43. doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2015.03.009
  • Heinze, T., Galvan, B., & Miller, S. A. (2015). Modeling porous rock fracturing induced by fluid injection. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 77, 133–141. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2015.04.003

Selection of Conference Contributions

  • Heinze, T. (2020). Numerical study of heat transfer across rough fracture surfaces. 2020 General Assembly, EGU, Vienna, Austria.
  • Frank, S., Heinze, T., Ribbers, M., Wohnlich, S. (2020). Investigating surface morphology and transport parameters of single fractures. 2020 General Assembly, EGU, Vienna, Austria.
  • Heinze, T., Blöcher, J. (2019). A local thermal non-equilibrium model for rainwater-infiltration into the snowpack. 2019 General Assembly, EGU, Vienna, Austria.
  • Blöcher, J., Juras, R., Heinze, T., Kuraz, M. (2019). Modeling rain-on-snow experiments using coupled water and heat flow. 2019 General Assembly, EGU, Vienna, Austria.
  • Gunatilake, T. Kemna, A., Heinze, T., Hoffmann, G., Prizomwala, S., Gayatri, P. (2019). Geophysical characterization of a fault zone and its correlation with seismicity in the Talala region, Northwest India. 2019 General Assembly, EGU, Vienna, Austria.
  • Heinze, T., Limbrock, J., Weigand, M., Wagner, F. & Kemna A. (2017). Self-Potential Monitoring of Landslides on Field and Laboratory Scale. 2017 Fall Meeting, AGU, New Orleans, LA, United States of America.
  • Budler, J., Heinze, T., Weigand, M., & Kemna, A. (2017). Required Accuracy of Structural Constraints in the Inversion of Electrical Resistivity Data for Improved Water Content Estimation. 2017 Fall Meeting, AGU, New Orleans, LA, United States of America
  • Heinze, T., Limbrock, J., Pudasaini, S.P., & Kemna A. (2017). Detecting rapid mass movements using electrical self-potential measurements. 2017 General Assembly, EGU, Vienna, Austria.
  • Heinze, T., Möhring, S., Budler, J., Weigand, M. & Kemna A. (2017). Improving water content estimation on landslide-prone hillslopes using structurally–constrained inversion of electrical resistivity data. 2017 General Assembly, DGG, Potsdam, Germany.
  • Heinze, T., Jansen, G., Galvan, B., & Miller S.A. (2016). Systematic study of the effects of scaling techniques in numerical simulations with application to enhanced geothermal systems. General Assembly, EGU, Vienna, Austria.
  • Hamidi, S., Heinze, T., Galvan, B., & Kemna, A. (2015). Numerical Simulation of Fluid Flow and Local Thermal Non-Equilibrium Heat Transfer in Fractured Porous Media. Flowtrans, Strasbourg, France.
  • Galvan, B., Hamidi, S., Heinze, T., Khatami, M., Jansen, G., & Miller, S.A. (2014). Towards a general simulation tool for complex fluid-rock lithospheric processes: merging pre-processing, processing and post-processing in state-of-the-art computational devices. GeoMod, Potsdam, Germany.
  • Hamidi, S., Heinze, T., Galvan, B., & Miller, S.A. (2014). THC modeling of an Enhanced Geothermal System. GeoMod, Potsdam, Germany.
  • Heinze, T., Hamidi, S., Galvan, B., & Miller, S.A. (2014). Numerical Modeling of earthquake swarms in the Vogtland / West-Bohemia. GeoMod, Potsdam, Germany.
  • Heinze, T., Galvan, B., & Miller S.A. (2013). Modeling the Fracturing of Rock by Fluid Injection - Comparison of Numerical and Experimental Results. General Assembly, EGU, Vienna, Austria.


Dr.rer.nat. Thomas Heinze
Ruhr Universität Bochum
Hydrogeochemistry and Hydrogeology
44780 Bochum

e-mail: [forname.surname]@rub.de
Street: Universitätsstr. 150
Room: IA 5/065
Phone: +49 (0) 234 32 24613